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Mrs Dickens's Family Christmas

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Available for 4 months

Looking at the marriage of Charles Dickens through the eyes of his wife Catherine, Sue Perkins exposes the lesser known reality of the Dickens family Christmas - very different from the heart-warming versions he presented in A Christmas Carol.

Sue turns her attention to the woman behind the man, revealing parallels between the female characters he created and his changing affections for his wife, namely, in Dickens's mind, her transition from innocent virgin to middle-aged frump.

Scrutinising Dickens's public defence in a national newspaper of his treatment toward Catherine, Sue seeks to set the record straight, promulgating her unconditional love for Dickens and support for his career.

Along the way, she has plenty of laughs, evokes the realities of Victorian marriage, interviews many of today's leading biographers of Mr and Mrs Dickens, explores Charles's role in creating Christmas as we know it - and gets to make a twelfth night cake. Show less


Sue Perkins
Mark Halliley
Mark Halliley
Executive Producer:
Basil Comely
Interviewed Guest:
Michael Slater
Interviewed Guest:
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
Interviewed Guest:
Pen Vogler
Interviewed Guest:
Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
Interviewed Guest:
Claire Tomalin
Interviewed Guest:
Lillian Nayder
Interviewed Guest:
Oliver James
Assistant Producer:
Nick Tanner
Production Manager:
Marian Lacey

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